Basketball Draws TCU In New Challenge Event

They'll still be challenged, or Challenged rather; just by a different conference this time.

Mississippi State will join nine of its conference cousins as participants in the Big XII/SEC Challenge, to be played through November and December of this 2013-14 basketball season. Coach Rick Ray's Bulldogs have drawn TCU for an opponent in this inaugural version of the event, and will host the Horned Frogs in Humphrey Coliseum on December 5.

All games will be broadcast by ESPN on its various outlets.

The SEC/Big XII Challenge takes the place of the league's previous made-for-TV arrangements with the conference formerly known as the Big East. The Bulldogs posted a 2-2 record in four appearances against the defunct league, including a victory against West Virginia in the Hump two years ago.

Four SEC schools—Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, and Tennessee—have a pass for this season. A quartet was sure to be left-out because the awkwardly-named Big XII has just ten members at the moment. All of them will be participating this fall.

"Pairing us in this challenge with the Big XII was a great move by the SEC," said Ray. "Coach (Trent) Johnson is a quality coach and individual that will have an improved team ready to come and compete in the Hump. It should be and will continue to be an entertaining matchup for our fans this year and years to come."

Johnson of course is the former Louisiana State coach and thus familiar with playing in Starkville.

Ray will be coaching his second Bulldog squad this season, after a 10-22 debut that did produce three wins in the last five games including a SEC Tournament victory.

TCU struggled as well with a 11-21 season and 2-16 conference record.

SEC/BXII Schedule:

November 14 Texas Tech at Alabama; December 2 Vanderbilt at Texas, Auburn at Iowa State; December 5 TCU at Mississippi State, Ole Miss at Kansas State, West Virginia at Missouri; December 6 South Carolina at Oklahoma State, Kentucky vs. Baylor in Arlington; December 10 Kansas at Florida; December 21 Texas A&M vs Oklahoma in Houston.

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